Albert Dunstan portrait

Albert Dunstan, premier 1935-45
Title Premier Albert Dunstan
Artist Brian Clinton
Date 1981
Medium Oil on canvas
1140 x 850 x 60 mm

Premier 2nd April 1935 – 14th September 1943

Premier 18th September 1943 - 2nd October 1945

Sir Albert Arthur Dunstan was born on the 26th July 1882 at Donald East, Victoria. He farmed in Cope Cope, Jondaryan in Queensland, Goschen, and Kaneira (Culgoa), before moving to the Bendigo district in 1918. A member of the Victorian Farmers’ Union (VFU), in 1920 Dunstan was endorsed by the party and elected for Eaglehawk in the Legislative Assembly. Dunstan split from the V.F.U. in April 1926 to form the Country Progressive Party. Four years later this party would merge back with the VFU (renamed the Victorian Country Party) to form the United Country Party led by John Allan with Dunstan as deputy. 

Dunstan served as Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey, Minister of Forests and President of the Board of Land and Works in Sir Stanley Argyle’s composite United Australia Party (UAP) - Country Party government from 1932 to 1935. In early 1935 he became leader of the United Country Party and deputy premier. Soon after this, Dunstan became premier and treasurer when the Country Party realigned itself with the Labor Party to form government. Labor’s support would last until 1942, when the UAP returned to voting with the Country Party. This government lasted from April 1935 to September 1943.

After a brief 5 day Labor government led by John Cain Sr., Dunstan was returned as premier from September 1943 to October 1945with support from Tom Hollway’s UAP.  After defeat in the 1945 election, Dunstan resigned as party leader. He served as Minister of Health from 1947-1948 in the Hollway-McDonald government and as a private member until his death on the 14 April 1950.

Brian Clinton is a Victorian artist, illustrator and designer. His works
include depictions of Australian sporting greats, film posters and stamps
for Australia Post. His work is represented in collections nationally and
internationally. This portrait of Albert Dunstan was painted posthumously.


© Brian Clinton